Çamlıca Primary School Playground


For whom: Çamlıca Primary School students
With whom: Istanbul Uskudar Camlica Martyr Onur Ensar Ayanoğlu Primary School
When: 2022

After 2019, we had the chance to work within the Harezmi Education Model again, and this time we produced a playground project in the garden of Istanbul Uskudar Camlica Martyr Onur Ensar Ayanoğlu Primary School, together with the school students and teachers. During the 2021-2022 spring semester, we were involved in the design process of students who want to develop playgrounds in the schoolyards, and we converted the emerging ideas into an architectural project and constructed them.

Harezmi Education Model aims to ‘reinterpreting the interdisciplinary approach, adopting the cooperation of different disciplines of equal value, integrated with the Computer Science teaching Social Science branch, adapting the Computational Thinking skills to life, Programming and Teaching tools are used effectively, fun with Robotics and Game design is an educational model which constantly updates itself.’ Uskudar Camlica Martyr Onur Ensar Ayanoğlu Primary School was also included in the model in the 2021-2022 academic year, and they started working with a group of 24 students from 3rd grades from 4 different branches. Since it is a primary school, instead of different branches, four different classroom teachers were included in the model, and research studies were carried out on problem determination and solution of this problem during the fall semester.

Funda Bayraktar, Uskudar District National Education Harezmi Coordinator, contacted us at the beginning of the second term, with the idea of building playground units in the schoolyard to help us develop and implement the design. We started with an expedition at the beginning of March, first of all, we saw the problems and possibilities of the garden on site and talked to the teachers and the school principal about the programming of the process and the possibilities of finding resources. We have programmed the design process for 7 weeks in March and April with the aim of carrying out the construction before the school closes and the Harezmi program ends in May. We also participated in 5 of these lessons in the Harezmi program, which were allocated 2 lesson hours on Tuesdays, and the teachers carried out design studies in the remaining 2.

At the beginning of the design work that we plan to develop on the models, we asked the students to design the playground they dreamed of for the garden with the small styrofoam cubes we distributed. After the students working in groups placed the models they produced on the garden plan, they explained their ideas and we commented on these ideas. While this study helps to think about the possible relationships of the game units with each other, the connections of the games and the effects of their possible places in the garden, in the following weeks we continued to develop the designs of the game units using straws and talk about their structural possibilities. During the weeks when the teachers continued their studies, discussions on the contents of the games were held, and which games were suitable for playing together were discussed. We combined the designs according to the topics such as how the game units should be divided into parts and where they should be located due to the crowded presence of the school, what we can do within our construction skills and resource possibilities. Before moving on to the construction phase, we shared the three-dimensional modeling we made for production with students and teachers, got feedback and made the final revisions.

While the design process was going on, the structural woods, panels, slides, tires and pallets we obtained from the Üsküdar Municipality through the school teachers were the materials that we observed and used in practice while finalizing the design. Apart from these materials, we also obtained consumables with the modest budget allocated by the school, and we went to the school 7 times in May and 2 times in June for construction.

In the construction works with the participation of our association members and the volunteers we invited, we built 2 small playgrounds in the front garden for the 1st and 2nd grades, and a big playground unit in the backyard for the 3rd and 4th grades. In the first of the units that can be reached from the ground with a few steps, we built a tree house with grab bars and at the top level we covered the sides with ropes at the beginning. We added a roof to this section in the next days, as the use of students revealed the necessity of covering this place as well. We mounted a slide at the top 1.5 meters of the first unit and the second smaller unit and we covered the sides of the steps where we connected the slides with perforated panels. In the larger and longer unit in the backyard, we installed two slides on the same level, going in two different directions. Apart from a small ramp on this unit, we have installed a more steep-angle connection that goes up to the slide level, which is reached by pressing the tires. We covered the surfaces facing the garden wall with perforated panels, and placed the tires in the passage between the unit and the wall, again by connecting them to each other. On the last day of the constructions, the students were also participated and painted the panels. Since the process was fragmented, the students started to use the units while the constructions were still in progress. However, an opening ceremony was also held in June with the participation of officials from the Uskudar District Directorate of National Education.

We thank to Funda Bayraktar, who helped us take part in this process; to the teachers Eda Cinbat, Türkan Çelik, Şaziye Uzun, Nazan Mamat and the school principal Birol Özdemir, with whom we worked with pleasure in a mutual learning state; to Adem and Züleyha Kolcu, who supported our needs during the practice workshop; to the parents of the students, the participants of the construction workshop, the main supporter Üsküdar Municipality, and the students with whom we work together to realize their dreams.

You can find the photo album of the project here.

Camlica Martyr Onur Ensar Ayanoğlu Primary School students: Ali Dinler, Alp Aras Çabuk, Batuhan Erkan, Belinay Aydın, Betül İnci Çelik, Büşra Zülal Çelebi, Celile Zümra Çalışkan, Doruk Ege, Doruk Özgül,Ece Melis Cinbat, Eray Kopuz, Fatma Zehra Can, Feyza Nur Erdil, Irmak Mira Dirim, Mehmet Arif Köse, Miray Su Can, Nisa Ceren Kurt, Nisa Nur Kaya, Ömer Zati Aşık, Serenaz Akpınar, Yağız Akyıldız, Yusuf Kerem Çavuş, Zeynep Bayraktar

Participants of the design process: Emre Gündoğdu, Hakan Ilıkoba, Sam Price, Sarper Takkeci

Participants of the construction process: Beril Sezen, Betül Toy, Büşra Topaktaş, Ceren Bek Takkeci, Ela Gök, Emre Gündoğdu, Erdem Üngür, Gökçe Güzel, Hakan Ilıkoba, İdil Bayar, Merve Gül Özokcu, Merve Güzel, Mina Öner, Sam Price, Sarper Takkeci, Selçuk Sarp Özgen, Sima Öner, Tarık Emir Kartal, Tayfun Parlak


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